Jean Nicolesco Dorobantzu was most likely born before the turn of the twentieth century. He was Romanian and whatever he did or perhaps didn’t do to earn a living allowed him the time and funds to experience a lavish New York City lifestyle. He donated custom-made Saville Row suits to the Metropolitan Museum art for a history of fashion exhibit in the 1980’s. He was a staple in high society and had neighbors with street addresses that included East 52nd. He painted and he drew and even created sculptures. Any more than that is an evolving mystery.
The collection of sketches he left behind reveal an artist who was most comfortable in the darkest places of the psyche. His works are mostly penned on paper and range from abstract monsters to naked old men. There are disembodied heads, fantastical half animal and half human figures and body parts attached to places they shouldn’t be.
However, you will also find an almost classically drawn figure of a woman or a fanciful sketch of a man in bellbottom disco pants. In one ink and color marker on paper, there is something delicately beautiful about this couple intertwined in a dance. Although their faces are abstracted like their classically upscale dressed bodies, we feel the pull of an attraction between them and that is enough to draw the viewer in to stay.